As a frequently observed business phenomenon, the use of product scarcity to improve a product’s market performance has received increasing attention from both academics and practitioners. The resulting literature has covered a wide variety of issues based on various theories, using different research methods, in a diverse range of settings. However, this diversity also makes it difficult to grasp the core themes and findings, and to see the outstanding knowledge gaps. This paper aims to review previous studies on the use of product scarcity in marketing and identifies new directions for future research.
A systematic review was conducted to identify and analyse 66 research papers published in business and management journals between 1970 and 2017.
The authors examined the underlying theories of scarcity-based marketing, and developed a conceptual framework that describes the key factors of product scarcity and how they influence both consumers and the market. They also highlighted some key achievements in modelling the processes involved in using product scarcity in marketing.
This analysis of the identified papers suggests that there are substantial gaps in our knowledge of this field, which opens up new paths for future research. For future research, the authors identified three directions aimed at: addressing the practical needs of firms in understanding product scarcity; guiding the implementation of scarcity-based strategies; and measuring, monitoring and predicting the level of product scarcity and its impacts during implementation.
This paper aims to develop a diffusion model that can be used to understand and forecast the market growth of service products in a competitive environment. Despite the fast growth of the service sector, the existing literature has dedicated little effort to modeling the market growth of service products.
The authors propose a choice-type diffusion model that links the issues of service product utility, customers’ choice preference, customer switching behavior and the market growth of service products. The authors use the market data of one online product and assess the performance of the proposed model using this case.
The results demonstrate the model’s good fitting and forecasting performance. Specifically, the proposed model has better performance than the benchmarks the authors choose from the existing literature.
This study shows that market growth of service products can have different diffusion patterns with that of durable goods, which is evidence of the needs for specific models for service diffusion. Further, this study demonstrates the important role of customer switching in service diffusion. Also for marketing practitioners, this study provides an explanation and forecasting tool for the market growth of service products, which can be used for marketing planning in the service industry.